March 2, 2011

IFC Pres.: Greek System Changes Should Come From Students

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At the first Interfraternity Council general body meeting since the death of Sigma Alpha Epsilon member George Desdunes ’13, IFC President Dan Freshman ’12 stressed that any changes to the Greek community as a result of Desdunes’ death must not come from the administration unilaterally. “Right now nothing is changing,” Freshman said. “No matter what happens, we as student leaders are going to enact these changes.”SAE is temporarily suspended, pending an ongoing investigation by the University.“It is likely that the chapter violated the recognition policy,” said Travis Apgar, associate dean of students. “This is not an assumption of responsibility.” “They are not automatically losing their charter or recognition,” Freshman said. “Their operations have been suspended because we are waiting for the investigation to come out.” SAE is currently not allowed to function as a fraternity, have social events nor continue new member education, Apgar said.  The IPD is leading the investigation regarding Desdunes’ death, aided by Cornell University Police and the New York State Police Forensic Science Laboratory.  “Since we don’t know the details there won’t be any changes [to the rest of the Greek system],” Freshman said. “When more information is available we will have to reassess things.”  “The recommendation from the community is that fraternities hold off on having social events this weekend,” Freshman said.  “There are a lot of eyes on the [Greek] community at this time,” Apgar said. “Cornell’s Greek system is seen as the best, oldest, premier Greek system in the country. Regardless of the results, people are going to assume the worst.”Apgar encouraged the fraternity presidents to “be cautious” and “use good judgement.”  “If you have social events, do them well,” Apgar advised.

Original Author: Laura Shepard